Sunday, January 22, 2012

A True Peace Garden

Back in August we visited Cecilienhof Palace, an English Tudor-style palace in Potsdam, Germany, not far from Berlin. This is where the Potsdam Agreement was negotiated, in July of 1945, and signed by Stalin, Truman & Churchill to end WWII. The Potsdam agreement settled the reconstruction of Germany, defined the borders of the entire Theater of WWII, included Germany's demilitarization, reparations and persecution of war crimes. Had to look some of this this up -- high school world history is so far back in my history at this point.

The conference was held here because Berlin was a shambles. This Palace, as with most palaces and large homes in Potsdam, were not damaged in the war. This palace in particular was sort of abandoned because, when it was built in 1917, the English Tudor style, inspired by English manor homes, was all the rage. You can imagine that, as WWII ramped up, all things English were on the outs and all things Germanic ruled.

It was built by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany for his son, Crown prince Wilhelm. Compared to other palaces in the area, it's sort of understated.



Today it's a hotel, as well as a museum, with a couple tidy gardens surrounding it. In July of 2007, it hosted the G8 Summit, adding to it's pedigree as a meeting place for world leaders. It sits along beautiful Jungferesee Lake. Photo at top show he garden outside the hotel wing of the building.
Th entrance to the Museum portion of
the building.

We'd not planned a trip here specifically, but it was part of a bike tour we took through Potsdam which had us visiting many palaces, parks and gardens. Glad we did though. Hoe often do you get to stand in the same rooms and walk the same gardens as Stalin, Truman and Churchill?


Looking more at home in an English country-side setting, the massive house, with it's mass broken up with outcroppings, a courtyard, rooflines and sections, looked more like an English village.
The garden outside the restaurant.
The garden outside the restaurant.

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